Leesa Partners with Michael Phelps and Aly Raisman to Explore Relationship Between Sleep and Human Performance
Whether you’re a New York Times bestselling author, a fast-paced business executive, a Pro Bowl quarterback, an Olympic gold medalist, or just the average American dealing with the stresses of daily life – quality sleep is one of the most critical drivers to human performance. The benefits of restful sleep on cognitive function, stress levels and peak physical and mental performance are undeniable. At Leesa, we’re obsessed with exploring this relationship, and we’re excited to push the boundaries of our research by partnering with two athletes who continually push the boundaries of human performance: World Champions Michael Phelps and Aly Raisman.
As Leesa ambassadors, Michael and Aly will be instrumental in providing guidance on Leesa’s human performance and sleep initiatives.
Guiding Leesa’s work in these areas of sleep, recovery and human performance will be Professor Paul Gringras, MD, one of the UK’s leading sleep specialists.
As Professor Gringras explains, “reaching one’s true performance peak ties directly to sleep. Reaction time, speed, accuracy and power in many sports have been shown to improve with better sleep, and whilst these improvements might make the difference between a gold or silver medal in elite athletes, they will equally increase the chance of all of us improving previous personal bests.”
Indeed Aly Raisman can attest: “Getting enough sleep is so important for me to ensure I’m prepared to compete at the highest level. When people talk about reaching their peak in performance, proper sleep is key to maintaining success both in training and competitions.”
As World Champions, both Michael and Aly put their bodies through intense training as they prepared to compete on a global stage and experienced first-hand the positive impact a pressure-relieving mattress can have on a good night sleep and overall performance: “Sleep monitoring was a daily part of my routine when I returned to competitive swimming as it was critical to aid my recovery so I was prepared for my next training session or competition,” said Phelps.
“My understanding of sleep and performance has carried over into my post-competitive life as I have been doing a lot of travel and can tell the difference between a good and bad night of sleep. I’m excited to partner with Leesa and help people of all ages understand the importance of sleep in their life.”
A good mattress can positively or negatively affect one’s sleep and therefore overall daily performance. As Professor Gringas notes, studies suggest that people sleeping in new beds had significantly less pain and were more comfortable than when they were sleeping on their older mattresses. A more recent study showed that replacing patients’ beds with new medium-firm mattresses, layered with memory foam and latex, provided significant improvement in both back and shoulder pain.
“Sleep is so important to my recovery and ability to train at an elite level,” said Raisman. My teammates jokingly call me “grandma” because of how early I go to bed and the amount of sleep I need, something I proudly own! Without the proper amount of rest, I don’t feel prepared to take on the difficult skills associated with gymnastics or everyday life. A good night’s sleep is important for everyone, no matter what you have planned for the day!”
In addition to the impact of a quality mattress on rest, recovery and performance, Professor Gringras will be working with the Leesa team to explore other critical factors, such as:
- Exercise and physical performance
- Environmental factors, like light, room temperature and use of electronics
- Stress and anxiety
- Mindfulness and meditation
While we’re not all world-class athletes like Michael Phelps and Aly Raisman, when we sleep better, we think clearer, run faster, work harder and dream bigger.